Friday, January 15, 2021

Fri-Yay: What Does the Future Hold for Sitcoms on Streaming Services?; Disney+ Has Its Teenage Doogie Howser

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

The Office

by Vincent

On January 1, the unthinkable happened: The Office, arguably Netflix's biggest hit of its acquired collection, was removed from the service. Of course, it wasn't unthinkable, exactly: Netflix first announced this would be happening nearly two years ago, after NBC claimed exclusive rights for the program for its budding streaming service Peacock. But it was still a major blow that caused a lot of outcry on social media. As we enter the next phase of the streaming era - which finds networks and studios increasingly making their own, separately priced streaming services and pulling their content off of where it was previously - it begs the question: will consumers follow their favorite shows, or will they find new shows instead?

It's still too soon to tell if The Office caused an uptick in subscribers for Peacock (which has been around since the summer, but easily has its biggest promotional push now that it has acquired arguably the biggest sitcom of the past 20 years.) But on social media, people aren't responding happy to see The Office in a new home, even with the enticement of extended cuts and deleted scenes. People are angry that their favorite sitcom has been taken away from them, and they seem to prefer venting on social media rather than signing up for Peacock. You might say, "why not just sign up for Peacock? It starts at 4.99/month." But to be fair, the amount of streaming service keeps piling up. To access the library you would've had access to on Netflix alone just 5 years ago, you'd have to sign up for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. Now to add another steaming service to the mix - it's understandable why people are angry, or opting to buy The Office DVDs on Amazon instead (Amazon reported an increase in sales of them after The Office left Netflix.) Still, if Peacock (or any other competing service) continues to add more and more shows, is it possible people will cancel Netflix and migrate to it? The Netflix brand is very strong, so it's going to take a lot for that to happen. But then again, Netflix keeps losing more and more series, and the more studios and networks that make their own Netflix series, the smaller their library will get. That's why Netflix has bet so much on its original programming in recent years. But will that be enough? The streamer has had plenty of original hits, but nothing blockbuster to the level of Orange is the New Black or Stranger Things in a few years now. Plus, reports of viewing activity have shown that long-running network series like The Office tend to be the most popular shows on streaming services due to their place as "comfort TV," and Netflix - with its new policy of ending shows after 3 or 4 seasons (original sitcoms like One Day at a Time, Alexa & Katie, The Ranch, No Good Nick), and keeping seasons to 10 episodes or less - doesn't really make programming of that kind anymore. We'll see where the next few years and the splintering of streaming services leaves sitcoms, but for now, I suggest finding your favorite sitcoms on the streaming services you have and holding them tight. (Also, if you're a Netflix subscriber looking for a show to replace The Office, might I suggest Community?)


Peyton Elizabeth Lee

Genius. Doctor. Teenager. Peyton Elizabeth Lee has been cast in the leading role as Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., an all-new Disney+ Original Series. Doogie Kameāloha, M.D., a re-imagining of the popular ABC series Doogie Howser, M.D., has been picked up to series, as we previously mentioned. Kourtney Kang (Fresh Off the Boat, How I Met Your Mother) is set to write and executive produce for 20th Television. Set in modern-day Hawaii, the 10-episode comedy follows Lahela "Doogie" Kameāloha, a mixed race 16-year-old girl, juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager. Guiding Lahela (and also complicating things) is her family, including her spit-fire Irish mother who's also her supervisor at the hospital, and her Hawaiian "Local Boy" father struggling to accept that his daughter is no longer his little girl. Stay tuned for a premiere date and much more!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 3

The Goldbergs - "Mr. Ships Ahoy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As William Penn’s new Quaker Warden, Beverly is thrilled to have co-workers for the first time and sets out to make them all love her. To her dismay, it’s more difficult to win them over than she anticipated, as her reputation of being a difficult school parent precedes her. Meanwhile, Geoff competes in the “Mr. Ships Ahoy” beauty pageant to prove to Erica that he can be seen as desirable by other women.

American Housewife - "The Guardian" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie and Greg secretly put Kathryn (Wendie Malick) through a series of tests to see if she would make a good guardian for Anna-Kat in the unlikely event something should happen to them. Meanwhile, after tracking down J.D.’s (Jake Choi) potential egg donors, Tami (Holly Robinson Peete) and Katie scheme to learn more about them.

The Conners - "A Stomach Ache, a Heartbreak and a Grave Mistake" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mark is stressed out and feeling sick, convinced he has COVID-19. Meanwhile, Becky and Harris team up to confront Josh who has been “ghosting” Harris; and when Jackie visits Roseanne’s grave, she finds an appalling headstone right next to it and sets out to make it right.

Call Your Mother - "Feelings" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jean and Danny’s relationship grows complicated emotionally and physically as they try to resist their feelings for one another until his divorce is final. As Celia is moving into Freddie’s apartment, Freddie is disappointed to learn that Celia plans to keep her place as a backup plan, causing some hard conversations between the two.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 1)

Wednesday, March 3

  • Ben Schwartz (Space Force/Parks and Recreation) - Watch Ben on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Kyra Sedgwick (Call Your Mother) - Kyra is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Arsenio Hall (Arsenio) - Arsenio talks about Coming 2 America on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) - Kristen and Dax are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Jermaine will be on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Awkwafina (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) - Awkwafina appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Hillary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hillary talks about My Brave Little Girl on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-February)

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
11/26 - Man with a Plan - Season Four
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season
01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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